Business equipment is essential for many jobs and tasks, but it’s often one of the most significant capital expenditures. That’s why many lenders provide equipment financing options, one of the oldest forms of business financing.
North Mill Equipment Finance is a national lender that offers equipment loans and leases. It brings several decades of industry experience and offers specialized programs.
However, businesses cannot apply directly to the company. It exclusively works with a network of third-party referral agents who bring deals to the lender.
This review covers how North Mill Equipment Finance works, including the benefits, drawbacks, and referral process. Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:
North Mill Equipment Finance is a broker-centric lender for small and mid-ticket equipment. The firm doesn’t employ salesforce, so its revenue streams are entirely dependent on third-party referral (TPR) sources. The business provides financing across the country.
Its dedicated referral source network helps connect businesses from various industries to the company’s equipment loan and lease options. North Mill Equipment Finance offers “application only” for equipment deals up to $250k and “application plus” for deals over $250k.
Examples of equipment transactions it finances include:
The company changed its name from Equilease Financial Services in 2012. It has over five decades of experience in business financing. North Mill Equipment Finance is located in Norwalk, CT.
North Mill Equipment Finance’s website lists senior leadership as:
Businesses needing equipment cannot apply directly to North Mill. Brokers or referral partners must submit loan or lease applications on their client’s behalf. Equipment financing is available for amounts from $15,000 to $1 million.
Here are the products brokers and referral services can offer their small business clients.
North Mill’s equipment loan has terms from 36-60 months. The equipment being financed is the collateral for the loan. You (or your client if you’re a broker) hold legal possession of the title during the loan.
The company indicates that it accepts multiple credit levels but doesn’t specify credit score requirements. Its equipment finance loan has minimal documentation requirements, and customers could potentially receive tax benefits from the loan. Consult your accountant or tax professional for more information about Section 179 and tax savings with equipment financing.
North Mill Equipment Finance offers several types of equipment leases.
Terminal Rental Adjustment Clause (TRAC): This lease option is designed to finance a qualified truck or trailer. The North Mill account manager provides lessees with a stated residual value at the end of the term. Customers can pay off the residual value, re-lease the equipment (if eligible), or return it.
Fair Market Value (FMV): A FMV lease allows business owners to obtain the equipment for a designated number of months. At the end of the lease term, customers can purchase the equipment at fair market value, re-lease it, or return it to North Mill and upgrade to new equipment (if eligible).
$1 Buyout Lease: This lease type is structured so that the customer can purchase the equipment for $1 at the end of the lease term. As such, the monthly payment is higher than with an FMV lease.
$101 Buyout Lease: California and Arizona laws prohibit $1 buyout leases. Instead, this lease is structured so customers can purchase the lease for $101 at the end of the lease term, in compliance with the law. Again, these leases have higher monthly payments to adjust for the lowered purchase price.
North Mill also offers refinancing options that brokers can offer their clients. It allows businesses to leverage equity in assets they already own. Customers can cash out the equity or refinance assets with existing leans. Sometimes it may be possible to do both.
North Mill doesn’t publish borrower qualifications. This is likely because they give their referral partners some discretion on eligibility for their clients.
It does indicate it works with the following credit qualities:
The company doesn’t publish interest rates or fees. As a broker-centric lender, this is probably because the costs depend on the deal negotiated between North Mill and its referral partners.
Most equipment deals require a down payment, but the company doesn’t indicate the required percentage. In addition, you must carry insurance for any financed equipment.
It relies entirely on its business loan affiliate program. ISO, business loan brokers, and other referral sources can register on the company’s website to offer equipment financing to their small business clients.
North Mill provides some additional products that enhance its equipment financing offers.
Equipment Lookback: This program makes it easier to finance used construction equipment up to 15 years old or with 15,000 work hours clocked.
Additional Collateral: Potential borrowers who lack the funds to meet the total down payment requirement can pledge additional collateral to make up the difference. Any collateral must be unencumbered. i.e., owned outright with no lien or other claim against it.
Private Party Sales: This program allows borrowers to finance and purchase equipment from another end user rather than an equipment vendor. TPR agents can offer this as “non-dealer financing” to their clients.
10-10 Program: This program aims to make new and recent vintage (up to 2 years old) more affordable. Clients can get a 10% reduction in interest and a 10% reduction in down payment from the standard guidelines.
Business owners seeking equipment financing cannot apply directly to North Mill. You must work with a referral source that partners with the lender.
Follow these steps to sign up as a referral agent.
You can contact the company to have them send you the application or complete it online at the North Mill website. You’ll provide information about yourself and your business. The application requires listing at least one lending partner as a reference.
Once approved, a North Mill representative will forward a copy of the referral agreement. Sign and return the agreement.
A representative will schedule a welcome call after you return the TPR agreement. The call will discuss how to be a successful TPR agent.
The lender doesn’t publish much information about the repayment process. It does state that it requires monthly payments for loans and leases.
Business owners should discuss the repayment process with their referral agents. The TPR agent should be able to provide more information regarding terms, rates, and early payoff options.
TPR agents should contact their North Mill reps for more information on their role in the repayment process.
The company offers various equipment loan and lease programs. It’s application-only up to $250k.
North Mill services a wide range of industries, and its financing products are available nationwide. It works with clients at varying credit levels. In addition, it offers a Cash Out option that allows businesses to turn equipment equity into working capital.
There’s no way to apply directly to North Mill. It only works with its network of referral agents.
The company doesn’t publish information on interest rates, fees, or other costs. Most equipment loans require a down payment.
Yes, North Mill Equipment Finance is a legitimate lender. It’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited with an A+ rating.
The company has a mix of negative and positive reviews, but they average toward the negative. It has a 1.8 out of 5 rating on 75 Google reviews and a 1.9 out of 5 rating on 97 reviews at Birdeye. It also has 1.8 out of 5 on five BBB reviews, with eight complaints closed in the previous three years.
The negative reviews primarily discuss the costs. Several customers stated they ended up paying more than expected. One customer claimed they were quoted a 6% interest rate but ended up with a 19% interest rate.
Another common complaint was about prepayment penalties. Several customers stated they were told they could pay the loan off early and receive an early payoff discount. Instead, they had to pay the remaining interest.
There are also several complaints about customer service being unavailable or unable to help. One customer complained the company wasn’t reporting payment activity to the credit bureaus despite being told it would.
Most positive reviews seem to come from referral agents working with the company. Several stated the customer support team was friendly and knowledgeable. A few comments talked about how the company is good at working with different credit levels.
It also has good reviews from employees.
If a business loan broker submits you to North Mill and you’re declined, the denial letter should explain why. You can talk to your referral agent if you need more information.
Fortunately, there are many lenders available if North Mill doesn’t work out for you. And most lenders provide a direct application, so you won’t have to go through a third-party agent. You shouldn’t have any issue finding a lending platform that can finance business equipment.
You might also be interested in the following small business loans:
North Mill Equipment Finance is best suited for business loan brokers looking to assist clients of varying credit levels with equipment financing. If you’re a business owner and a TPR agent submits you to North Mill, just be aware of the negative customer reviews about the company.
It offers some unique loan and lease programs, so it could be an option if purchasing older equipment from a private seller. However, reviews suggest that the costs could run high. Ensure you carefully review the loan agreement and can afford the repayment structure before signing.
Based on the available information and customer reviews, we rate North Mill Equipment Finance at 2 out of 5. We like the industry experience and multiple financing options. However, being unable to apply directly, the lack of information on costs, and negative customer reviews are significant issues that lower its score.
Disclaimer: The North Mill Equipment Finance trademark is owned by North Mill Equipment Finance LLC, and its use herein is for reference purposes only, and it does not indicate sponsorship or endorsement from North Mill Equipment Finance LLC.